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Re: [mythsoc] Mythies with E-readers

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  • Alana Abbott
    A couple of thoughts for Travis. One is that I have a writer friend (who, in my estimation, will take the world by storm once more of his works find their way
    Message 1 of 40 , Feb 17, 2011
      A couple of thoughts for Travis. One is that I have a writer friend (who, in my estimation, will take the world by storm once more of his works find their way to the commercial market) who experiments writing longhand on some project, typing on others. I am sure that he is not the only one! If I'm away from my computer, I'm certainly more likely to write my projects longhand than rely on a touchscreen keyboard (one of the reasons the iPad has no appeal for me). But for me, I prefer typing, as it feels like there is less between me and the word. When I write longhand, there's much more of a physical act of writing, of placing words on the page. Because touch-typing for me is nearly instinctual at this point, it's so ingrained in me, I don't think about the action of typing -- I think about the words, and the story, and I'm able to get lost in them in a way that longhand never quite accomplished for me.

      As a reader, I notice few differences in reading on my e-reader vs. the printed page. The first is that I can read one-handed -- which was crucial to my being able to keep up with my reading as a new mom! I find the sensation of holding the nook to be more comfortable than holding a print book. I tend to read at the same speed -- possibly a little faster (or it just feels that way because there are more page turns) -- on the nook as I do with print, unless the formatting for the document I'm reading isn't terribly well suited for the reader. (Some pdfs and epubs give it trouble, creating more page breaks than the screen itself would demand.) Even then, as soon as I've gotten into the story, I forget the formatting issue and feel myself absorbed in material. I will say that I haven't particularly enjoyed reading comics on my nook (I have the e-ink one, not the color version), and I think that some of the art from books like, say, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, lost something in being on the display rather than on the printed page. 

      I wonder if some of the distinction in enjoyment might come from how much of one's life a reader has spent reading on a screen as compared to print. I've been writing stories on a keyboard since about the sixth grade -- first on an electronic typewriter (for a single major project that I can recall), and after that on a Commodore 64. More than half of my life, I've been accustomed to reading on a screen (though I vastly prefer the e-ink display and its likeness to paper to reading off of a monitor!). I would wager that my daughter, who will have lived her whole life with an e-reader in the house, will notice even *less* difference between print and electronic reading experiences, as she'll be exposed to both.

      But these are just thoughts and ideas based on my personal experiences, not on any vast amount of study or even observation of younger readers. :)

      -Alana

      --
      Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
      Author of Into the Reach and Departure, available at http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks
      Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets," http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets
      Contributor to Origins Award winner, Serenity Adventures: http://tinyurl.com/serenity-adventures
      --
      For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans

    • Lisa Harrigan
      I have an e-reader on my Palm PDA. The screen is almost big enough, and since it is always with me, it means that I always have a few books in my purse without
      Message 40 of 40 , Feb 23, 2011
        I have an e-reader on my Palm PDA. The screen is almost big enough, and
        since it is always with me, it means that I always have a few books in
        my purse without taking up additional space. Readability is sometimes a
        bit wobbly, but I can enlarge the print to where these older eyes can
        see clear enough to not die of eye strain. Page turnings are more
        frequent, but that is easy with the touch sensitive screen. And books
        with footnotes are much easier to deal with, as the footnote is just a
        screen touch away. Still I can't read it in Bright Light, so I won't be
        using it at the pool any time soon.
        I bought The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings specifically so that I
        could have copies with me whenever I wanted them, and being able to
        search electronically was also a useful function. A Paper Index at the
        back of a book is nice, but direct search is some times more useful. YMMV
        Current plans are to buy a Samsung Galaxy (android) phone soon, and drop
        a reader with my books onto it. The screen is about the same size but
        with an even better resolution, so readability should improve.
        I would love to buy a Color Nook, as many of my favorite magazines
        (Science News, Scientific American, Astronomy) come with lovely color
        pictures and graphs, but I don't necessarily need to have the paper
        copies of the magazines. But I may just end up buying a Color Tablet
        with reader capabilities to avoid 1 trick ponies filling up my purse.
        That is a debate for when the pocketbook recovers from New Phone Purchase.
        Lisa
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